Boiled chicken can be the main ingredient in different dishes, but you can eat it by itself, too, if you add the right seasonings to it.
Chicken meat is easy to prepare and goes excellent with plenty of other ingredients such as veggies or rice. But it is essential to know how much you have to boil your chicken and when it is thoroughly cooked.
You will know that your chicken is done boiling when you don’t see any pink spots on it, and it acquires a firm texture. If you use a meat thermometer, you can count on the fact that your chicken is boiled when the thermometer shows 165 degrees F.
How do I know if a boiled chicken is done?
Checking if your chicken is well-boiled is not complicated as long as you know what you are looking for. The boiled chicken will not be pink at all.
If you see pink spots on your chicken meat while it is cooking, it is safe to assume that it needs more time.
Using two main methods, you can check if your boiled chicken is done.
Use a meat thermometer.
Using a meat thermometer, you will not be concerned with overcooking your chicken. Place the thermometer probe inside the chicken meat; it will let you know when it is cooked.
Chicken is well boiled when it reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F or 74 degrees C.
Read the instructions for your meat thermometers, as these devices come with different features, and some can be set to notify you when the meat reaches the desired temperature.
Without a meat thermometer
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you must remove the meat from the container and check it yourself. Usually, chicken meat that is not done boiling will remain pink inside.
To check that, you can just cut throw the thickest part of your meat peace and see if there are any pink spots.
If you see any shade of pink, put the chicken meat back in the container and let it boil for a few minutes more.
How long does it take to boil chicken?
The time it takes to boil chicken meat depends on the size of the meat. According to the general rule, you can cook an entire chicken in 90 minutes to 100 minutes.
Boiling chicken breast is much faster; you can expect it to be done in around 15 to 20 minutes. The smaller the piece of meat is, the faster it will boil.
As a tip, remember that if you are planning to keep cooking your chicken in a more complex dish like a stew or soup, you can reduce the boiling time. Your chicken will continue to cook as you add it to the rest of the ingredients.
Can you overcook chicken when boiling?
It might seem that you can’t overcook chicken meat when boiling it, but you can. If you let it cook too long or after its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, your chicken means will turn rubbery and dry. Also, the more you boil the chicken, the less flavor it will have.
If you want a juicy, tender chicken, it is crucial to boil it for the right amount of time, as overboiling it could ruin your entire dish.
How to boil chicken
While it might seem easy to boil chicken, if you want to do it correctly, there are undoubtedly vital aspects you need to keep in mind.
Follow these steps every time you want to end up with a delicious and juicy chicken in a short time.
Choose the liquid you use to boil your chicken.
Water is the most common option but only one of the options when you want to boil the chicken. If you want to ensure that your chicken meat has a rich flavor when it is freshly cooked, you can always use chicken broth instead of water.
You can add a tablespoon of tomato paste in the boiling liquid as well if you want to flavor it more. This is a great secret that many chefs apply and the chicken turns out juicy and with an amazing and inviting flavor!
When you choose the liquid for your chicken, consider the type of dish you will make with the boiled chicken too.
Add the seasonings you love
After you add your chicken to the liquid enough to be covered entirely, it is time to season it.
You want to add salt and pepper to give your chicken meat a better taste, but you can also add carrots and onion to enrich the flavor.
As it is boiling, chicken absorbs all the other flavors in the pot like a sponge, so be generous with the seasonings. If you want to add fresh herbs, this is also the time to do that.
Could you bring it to a boiling point?
Let your chicken boil in the seasoned water or broth, and cover the pot with a fitting lid. You also want to lower the heat when it gets to a boil and let it simmer at a constant heat so it will get cooked at a steady pace.
Check if your chicken is done boiling.
Using a meat thermometer will make it easy to decide when your chicken is well-boiled. If you don’t use such a device, you will need to take a piece of chicken out after 15 minutes and cut through it to verify any pink spots.
Shred the chicken
Depending on how you prepare your boiled chicken further, you can shred it up or cut it into smaller pieces.
Before you do that, remove the chicken from the boiling liquid and place it on a plate on the counter. Give it ten minutes to rest before you continue to prepare it.
How long does it take to boil chicken legs?
Chicken legs boil for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. It will take less time to cook chicken legs at room temperature, but boiling frozen chicken legs can take you quickly into half an hour. In general, chicken meat with bones will cook longer than chicken breast.
Just like when it comes to any other type of chicken meat, chicken legs also need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F to be done.
Using a meat thermometer, you must put the probe as deeply as possible in the thickest chicken piece.
How long does it take to boil chicken breast to shred
If you want your chicken breast to shred easily, it is crucial not to over-boil it. Overboiled chicken gets dry and rubbery; to avoid that, you need not boil it for more than 15 minutes. Thicker pieces of chicken breast will take longer to cook.
It might be done in as fast as 12 minutes if you are boiling a thin piece of chicken. Always give your chicken an extra ten minutes to cool down before you shred it.
When you slice the chicken meat, you can use two forks to pull in opposite directions so the meat will come off nicely. Cutting through the chicken meat if you want to shred meat is not recommended.
How to boil chicken breast
Chicken breast is very easy to boil as it contains no bones. It should be done within 15 minutes, but thinner chicken breasts can get done even faster. Follow the steps above, and don’t forget to add the seasonings you love.
As a tip, if you don’t have enough time to boil a big piece of chicken breast, you can always slice it in half, and you will obtain two pieces of chicken breast that get cooked faster.
How long does it take to boil chicken for soup?
Boiling chicken for soup is similar to cooking chicken for other dishes. But it is a good idea to add more seasonings to the water or even use chicken broth instead of water. By doing so, you will have a richer flavor of the chicken.
However, if you add the chicken directly to your cooked soup, you can boil it entirely before you do that. But if you plan to cook the chicken with the soup, so the flavors get mixed better, you only have to boil the chicken for half its required time.
You can add chicken that is still a bit pinkish in the middle to the soup. Your chicken meat will keep cooking with the other ingredients of the soup, and everything will be well done by the same time.
Chicken meat, in all its forms, is not just delicious but also healthy. You can prepare it in soups, stews, baked dishes, and even cold salads.
And if you need to use boiled chicken meat, this guide will help you cook your chicken perfectly! Get creative with the seasonings and be generous with the salt and pepper, as chicken has a rather blunt flavor when not seasoned correctly.